Cong MLA’s Mass Resignation: HC Asks Rajasthan Speaker CP Joshi to Clear His Stand in 10 Days

Rajasthan High Court, Rajasthan Vidhan Sabha

The Rajasthan High Court in the case granted 10 days’ time to the Rajasthan assembly Speaker, CP Joshi for clearing his stand or decision on the resignation submitted by 91 congress MLAs before him in September 2022.

The bench comprising of Chief Justice Pankaj Mithal and Justice Shubha Mehta observed and has asked to obtain instructions from the speaker and make his stand clear in the court.

In the present case, the High Court is dealing with the plea filed by the deputy leader of the opposition in the Rajasthan Legislative Assembly and BJP MLA Rajendra Rathore pertaining to the Speaker’s inaction in taking a decision on the Congress resignations of MLAs’.

The Advocate General (appearing for Joshi) submitted during the course of hearing that the MLAs have withdrawn their resignations and as such, there was no necessity to pass an order on those resignations. The court observed while objecting the same, it has been submitted by the petitionerin-person Rathore that the resignations once submitted can’t be withdrawn and that the Speaker was dutybound to pronounce his decision.

Further, it has been submitted that the Advocate General can’t represent the Speaker as the AG represents the Government, the speaker post is being independent of the government. The High Court posted the matter for hearing on January 16, wherein seeking the reply from the speaker. The court noted that Rathore has moved the Court last month wherein alleging that the Assembly Speaker (Joshi) has been sitting over the resignations of congress MLAs since September 2022 and has failed for arriving at any decision.

The PIL petition stated that since the MLAs had submitted their resignations as per Rule 173 of the Rules of Procedure of the Rajasthan Assembly, however, it is being incumbent upon the speaker to accept the resignations. The plea filed seeks a direction to the Speaker to take a decision on the resignations within seven working days. Further, the court directed has sought from the assembly secretary to produce the documents relating to the resignation and to disclose the identity of the MLAs who had submitted their resignations.

The court also noticed that in September last year, around 90 Congress MLAs, loyal to CM Ashok Gehlot, wherein it has been submitted that their resignation to the State Assembly Speaker expressing their resentment over Congress High Command’s decision to convene a Congress Legislature Party (CLP) meet to choose a new CM (in place of the current CM Ashok Gehlot). It has also been submitted by the MLAs that their resignations en masse in September have started withdrawing their resignations on December 31.

The court noted that as per the Article 190 (3) of the Constitution of India, an MLA can resign from his seat by writing to the Speaker or the Chairman, as the case may be, and his resignation is accepted by the Speaker or the Chairman. Further, it has been provided that if from information received or otherwise and after making such inquiry as he thinks fit, the Speaker or chairman is being satisfied that such resignation is not voluntary or genuine, such resignation cannot be accepted by him.

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